Hinterland’s Gift for the Future Biodiversity and Taking Local Action

The inspiration for this article came from items published in the Guardian on 8th/9th August 2021. Firstly an article by George Monbiot: “The gift we should give to the living world” and then the publication of the latest IPCC report on Climate Change.

In our rush to take action: carbon capture, tree planting etc we sometimes lose sight of that other priority, to restore and improve biodiversity. Biodiversity is enriching, stabilising, securing. Our FHT work on the land it manages is very much about biodiversity.

We could simply leave our Hinterland land to invasive gorse, Lodgepole Pine and Sitka Spruce. All are very vigorous growers and would be effective at capturing CO2. But what would we lose?  – The vitality and benefits of biodiversity. Hence our ongoing and long term work:

-To control the spread of gorse onto dune heathland and grassland and their diversity of lichens, mosses, fungi, heathers and grasses and their associated mass of fauna.

-Our creation of firebreaks not only to protect property but also all the flora and fauna that is not fire resistant (gorse recovers very quickly and easily from fire).

-Our ponds created to provide a very different habitat. We now see dragonflies and even heron.

-The replacing of dense, dark plantation with oak, rowan, wild cherry, birch and aspen, which supports a much greater quantity and range of fauna

-Opening up glades in the North East sector of woodland (but leaving standing some of the stronger, older Scots Pine) allows for self-seeding of native flora.

-Our woodland shelter, wild camping pads, path clearance, green burial site all encourage a human presence and the increased enjoyment, knowledge and an appreciation of our environment.

-Surveys of moths, fungi, lichens etc all contribute to our knowledge and understanding.

We are trying to build a solid foundation for true biodiversity so let’s be optimistic about the future. Hinterland may seem very, very small but with your support and involvement, as part of a global movement, it makes a significant difference.

George Paul
FHT Member and Regular Long Term Volunteer.

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB